Friday, April 18, 2014

The Book Thief

 *** no spoilers ***

The Book Thief is enjoying a well deserved wave of success both as a novel and film with Geoffrey Rush. Markus Zusak is a Sydney author and is undeniably one of our best. I was given the book as a birthday present in March and must be the only person in Adelaide who hadn't heard of it, hadn't read it and hadn't watched or wasn't planning to watch the film. It has gone around like wild fire. Adelaide loves a good book and will share easily which is how I came to receive it as a present. Adelaide people will not let you miss a good book. It is beautifully written the more so because it uses such simple language reminiscent of the style of Anatole France to tell a tale which draws you in bit by bit and then pushes home some unforgettable messages at the end. It is masterful in the way it has been constructed and deals with at era of Nazi occupation well. I have read a number of writings from that era in German and the one thing which Zusak has achieved is the German capacity to tell the truth but demonstrate the inspiration and irrepressible nature of good human beings. The Germans are a culture which can contrast light and dark well and Zusak has managed this in English so it is quite an achievement. Unlike others I could stop reading it. I read it in bits and could lose myself in it but I wanted it to last, I suppose, and I knew it would make me sad, but sad in a good way. It reminds you to stand up for what you believe in. This book will endure, I am sure, because the message is timeless and the style is not locked into a time frame or era. I recommend it to you, if like me, it somehow missed you.

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